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"I’m not interested in going home. I just want to drive my truck."
Sandi Talbott (ST) and Idella Hansen (IH)
ST: When we started, there weren’t that many women out here driving trucks. And my husband’s health was not good, he only had one leg, so consequently I did all the driving.
IH: Plus you were taking care of him.
IH: You were a rolling nursing home.
ST: [laughs] Yea, kinda
IH: You’re a tough old bird, girl.
IH: You ever hauled missiles?
ST: Well, yeah. I hauled all kinds of missiles.
IH: I remember hauling tadpoles.
ST: Live tadpoles?
IH: Yeah. There’s a place that makes baby frogs and you have, like 36 hours to get them delivered.
ST: Yea, we hauled all kinds of stuff. But, when I take the truck in, it’s “oh, here’s a little old woman. We’ll make a bundle off of her.” And if I don’t like what they’re saying, I’ll call you, Idella. I’m not going to get any kind of hogwash, you’re going to tell me how it really is.
IH: Can you imagine doing anything else, Sandi?
ST: Absolutely not. Four years ago, I had a heart attack while I was on the truck. And when I got ready to go back on the road, I pulled out of my driveway and started through the gear pattern, it was like I’m back in my element. It is my life.
IH: I’m not interested in getting out of it. I’m not interested in retiring. When I get in that seat, instead of being slump-shouldered, all of a sudden, I have sat up straight, pulled my shoulders back, and it’s like a rush of hot blood.
ST: I’m like you, Idella. Don’t talk to me about cooking meals. I certainly don’t wanna clean. But what if something happens to my health? What am I going to do?
IH: I’ll stuff you in the truck with me.
ST: [laughs] When they pry our cold dead fingers off the wheel that’s when we’ll retire… because when people retire, they die. And we ain’t ready for that.
IH: Hopefully, I’ll be one of them you find sitting behind the wheel somewhere. I’m not interested in going home. I just want to drive my truck.
IH: That’s what I want to do. I want to drive my truck.
Albert and Aidan Sykes
In 2015, 9-year-old Aidan Sykes sat down to ask his father, Albert, a few important questions. Presented with Upworthy, they are, #WhoWeAre.
Larry Kushner and Eileen Kushner
As an adult, Eileen was diagnosed with a learning disability. At StoryCorps, she remembers how she overcame the challenges she faced at work.
StoryCorps is America’s oral history project. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected more than 60,000 interviews with over 100,000 participants from all backgrounds -- the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered.
Recordings are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress so that future generations can hear the stories – and the voices – of today.
We share stories online and through our popular weekly NPR broadcasts, podcast, animated shorts, and best-selling books. StoryCorps is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.